With 140,000 inhabitants, Cork is the Republics second largest city. Its name derives from the Irish word Corcaigh, which means the marshes.

In the 7th century, St. Fin Barr (gaeil Fionn Barra) founded a monastery with a convent school here. Cork thus became an important ecclesiastical centre which attracted many students and scholars. The place was often raided by Vikings who eventually settled in Cork to found a trading centre.

Picture of St. Finbarr’s
St. Finbarr’s Cathedral, Cork’s Church of Ireland cathedral

Cork is situated at the head of Cork Harbour, which is the second largest natural harbour in the world. Just a little outside of Cork is the port of Cobh from where many Irish emigrants departed to seek their fortunes in the New World.

County Cork is one of the nicest regions on this island–life moves at a slower pace. You might find yourself stopping to have a nice chat with an Irish farmer in the street.

Ring of Kerry ►